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Fleetwood Mac Rebound From Illness to Close Isle of Wight Festival

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Fleetwood Mac have had to cancel some shows due to illness lately, but they didn’t name their latest tour On With the Show for nothing: In spite of rampant speculation that they’d be no-shows for their headlining slot at the Isle of Wight festival yesterday, the band took the stage and — by all accounts — delivered a triumphant set.

NME reports on the scene, starting with the cancellation of Mac gigs in Birmingham and Manchester prior to the festival, and describing the mix of anticipation and worry that ran through the crowd up until the moment the band took the stage.

A no-show would have been a disaster for festival organizer John Giddings, who admitted to the London Evening Standard that Fleetwood Mac were the “jewel in the crown” for this year’s lineup. “Getting them was a fantastic result. I’d approached them repeatedly and they hadn’t had much interest in it,” he explained. “They said they weren’t keen on playing in the open air, but they spoke to Tom Petty and the Kings of Leon, who said they had a great time at the festival. They managed to convince them.”

As you can see from the fan-shot footage above, Fleetwood Mac had no trouble running through a 20-song set that included a healthy selection of their greatest hits — and was punctuated with small asides from the stage such as the moment when Stevie Nicks dedicated the evening’s performance of “Landslide” to Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, saying, “Falling offstage, getting up and playing a two-and-a-half-hour set. I think that’s awesome.”

The band still has plenty of dates left to get through before the tour is done, and while they earned rave reviews for their Isle of Wight appearance, bassist John McVie echoed sentiments recently expressed by his fellow Fleetwood Mac vets when he told Mojo that he feels like the end might be near for the group. “How much longer can the Mac be a working band? Not much longer, for me anyway,” he warned. “It’s not the music – it’s the peripherals, the traveling.”

Joking that drummer Mick Fleetwood will “go on until they put him up against the wall and shoot him,” McVie expressed incredulity that the band remains such a popular draw. “I do flash on it, what must I f—ing look like, this old fart up there,” he continued. “But I look out and there’s kids, and kids on their shoulders now, and they all seem to be having a good time. It’s sort of worrying … Jesus Christ, will there still be a demand when I’m 75?”

Fleetwood Mac 2015 Isle of Wight Festival Set List
“The Chain”
“You Make Loving Fun”
“Second Hand News”
“I Know I’m Not Wrong”
“Sisters of the Moon”
“Say You Love Me”
“Big Love”
“Never Going Back Again”
“Over My Head”
“Little Lies”
“Gold Dust Woman”
“I’m So Afraid”
“Go Your Own Way”
“Don’t Stop”

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